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Loyalist Trails UELAC Newsletter, 2015 Archive

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“Loyalist Trails” 2015-25: June 21, 2015

Articles

Five Loyalist Scots in Canada, by Stephen Davidson

Far away from their home, Scotsmen who settled in New York in the late 18th century – or who passed through it on a regular basis—made a point of joining the city's St. Andrew's Society. It was a charitable society that, like its counterparts in London and Boston, looked after disadvantaged countrymen and provided a place for social contact. Many of the New York Scots Society's members later joined the 60,000 loyalist refugees who fled the United States to find sanctuary in other parts of the British Empire. Here are the stories of five who, although involved in the American Revolution, did not make new homes in Nova Scotia or Canada.

Captain Thomas Miller was described by contemporaries as "intelligent, steady, active and amiable". Unlike other St. Andrew's Society members, he was born in New Jersey and made a name for himself as a captain of a ship in the London trade. After his marriage to Martha Willet, he is noted as having sold African slaves as well as goods from Europe and India. He was a rising star in New York's merchant circles until he had to leave the city because of his refusal to sign an "association" against Great Britain.

Although not in the city, Miller made sure that the British ships in its harbour were well supplied with goods as well as intelligence on rebel activities. Later, he fled to the "most unfrequented parts" of Long Island, hiding from patriots in swamps by day and in loyalist houses by night. When the British secured New York City and Long Island, Miller served as a guide. His homes were turned into rebel barracks, wrecked and confiscated.

Miller's knowledge of the local situation came in handy when he was made an arbitrator between loyalist refugees who were put into homes abandoned by rebels and those colonists who remained in the city. In 1780, Miller and his family left the rebellious colonies for good. He last appears in the public record when he appealed to the loyalist compensation board in London.

Captain William Brown was also of particular value to the British troops that occupied New York. His special work during the revolution was the care of soldiers' children due to his "great share of humanity". Brown had been born in Scotland, arriving in America in 1756 with the Earl of Loudoun. At the conclusion of the Seven Years War, he became a farmer in Westchester County, New York.

When the "unhappy troubles" broke out, Brown was unable to sell his land that was situated on the "great road" between New York City and Boston. He often had rebel troops marching by and was compelled to provide food and lodging for as many as 70 men at a time. When the British took control of New York City, Brown helped find passage to Long Island for loyalist sympathizers. Despite his loyalty, Brown was looted by the German mercenaries that served alongside the British army. It is noted that the Hessians took his "sliver plate, shirts, bed, table linen and wearing apparel".

By 1779 William Brown was made the superintendent of charities in New York City. Two years later, he was made a captain in the Royal Garrison Battalion of Foot. What became of this loyal Scot and his family after the revolution is not recorded in the minutes of the St. Andrew's Society.

Captain James Chambers was an eyewitness to a largely forgotten part of New York's revolutionary history, the New York Tea Party. Knowing that he had just been to England, an angry and suspicious crowd boarded his ship in search of tea in the spring of 1774. Chambers, who had earlier refused to carry "the detested herb", heartily denied having any tea in his holds. When the Sons of Liberty threatened to break every piece of cargo until they found the tea, Chambers admitted that he had eighteen chests of tea aboard his ship.

Dressing themselves as Mohawks, the Sons of Liberty boarded the ship at night, broke open the tea chests and threw the tea into the East River. Chambers managed to stow himself aboard another vessel during the attack on his ship and escaped to safety. The last reference we have for Chambers is that he was the master of a small privateer that attacked American vessels off of Jamaica.

Very few people involved in the American Revolution were laid to rest within the hallowed halls of London's Westminster Abbey. However, Major General Sir Archibald Campbell is one of a very small handful who were. Born in Inverneil, Scotland, Campbell was educated at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Military Academy before serving in North America. At 36 years of age, he was part of a battalion that was captured by rebels as it entered Boston's harbour in 1775. After being exchanged for Ethan Allen in 1776, Campbell became a brigadier-general and was put in charge of the Georgia campaign. His men seized Savannah with a loss of only four lives. (Where he found time to join the New York St. Andrew's Society goes unrecorded.)

At 40 years of age, Campbell married Amelia Ramsey. Three years later, he successfully defended Jamaica against the French and was made a Knight of the Bath in 1785. When he died in 1791, he was buried in Westminster Abbey where a monument was erected to him in the Poets' Corner. The inscription said that Campbell was "equally admired and regretted for his eminent civil and military services to his country. Possessed of distinguished endowments of mind, dignified manners, inflexible integrity, unfeigned benevolence, with every social and amiable virtue."

Major-General George Campbell was born on Scotland's Island of Islay. Contemporaries described him as being "the handsomest man in the British Army"; he was certainly one of its most active. In the 67-year span of his life, he was on staff at Gibraltar and then present at the surrender of Montreal in 1760 as well as the capture of Martinique and Havana, and worked for the East India Company. He fought at the Battle of White Plains and was in command of the King's Orange Rangers in Halifax, serving in the revolution until 1783. Sometime during the war he must have found time to become a member of the St. Andrew's Society. Campbell then sailed for India where he was promoted at regular intervals until reaching the rank of major general. He died in Madras in 1799, one of the most well travelled Scots of his era.

The records of the St. Andrew's Society of New York reveal that the organization did not hold any meetings during the American Revolution. This is unfortunate, for the stories that could have been shared by its many and varied members --whether loyalist, patriot or British— would have been almost too amazing to believe.


To secure permission to reprint this article, email Stephen Davidson.

Anthony and Andrew Westbrook (Part 4), by Doug Massey

© Doug Massey UE

At this point, Anthony was perhaps a "silent" Loyalist. He had signed the pledge, thereby signalling that he opposed the "several arbitrary acts of the British Parliament". He was an American and proud of it. Yet in his heart, for reasons we have already seen, he may have been loyal to the king. As time passed and disaffection grew in the area, did he have growing misgivings about signing? Did he feel guilt in his silence as he saw the treatment handed out to those who did not sign? Did he come to think, as a growing number in Orange County did, that the Congress in Philadelphia was a foreign power that levied taxes without consent? What was he up to in the fall of 1775 and the beginning of 1776 when war was declared against Loyalists? Was he coerced? We will never know the details. There is no historical evidence before 1777 of Anthony Westbrook's part in the revolution. However, from July 4, 1776 onward, life for Anthony must have become a whole lot harder.

The Declaration of Independence was a second, serious test of allegiance – now you were either for or against independence and the revolution. There was no room for compromise, no middle ground. Those who wished to be neutral were treated as more dangerous traitors than those who openly supported the British. Here too was a cruel dilemma for Loyalist Americans: Caught between the folly of their king and what appeared to them as the "dogmatic fanaticism of the extreme Whigs", they were now forced to choose the king and smash the revolution in order to get back to constitutionally redressing the wrongs done to the colonies by the British parliament. Yet by taking this very course of action, Loyalists appeared as unqualified supporters of the impolitic treatment of the colonists by Great Britain. [22] This was not true.

In these heated times neither Loyalist nor Whig saw any honour in the other. Hatred grew, families like the Westbrooks were torn apart, and a civil war of extermination began. With the arrival of General Howe in July of 1776 came an up swelling of Loyalists rushing to support his army in New York City, and to take the oath of allegiance to Britain. These Loyalists had been arming before Howe's arrival and now was the time to rise up. In Orange, Westchester, Dutchess and Ulster Counties it is estimated that there were twenty three hundred waiting to join Howe. [23] In October, the Provincial Congress was informed of a "conspiracy from Haverstraw to Hackensack to join the King's troops". [24] All sorts of horrible "tory plots" were unearthed or invented. The militia was greatly disaffected. So widespread was the division, and so difficult was it to raise troops in New York that the Whigs had to ask neighbouring states to send aid. [25] In May of 1777, Loyalist uprisings were reported in Albany, Tryon, Charlotte, Ulster, Cumberland, Gloucester and Orange Counties. General William Heath of Massachusetts, commander of a force of Continental regulars in Orange County, wrote George Washington describing the problem he faced there: "...the tories are joining the enemy and insulting and disarming the whigs, stripping them of cattle, effects, etc." [26]

These events swirled all around Anthony Westbrook, his wife Sara, and their children – Alexander, Elizabeth, Johannes, Andrew and Haggai. At some point in 1777 Anthony made the decision to fight for the king, but not with Howe. He joined Joseph Brant's Volunteers. To begin with, Brant's force was composed of Oneidas (which he was related to by marriage), Tuscaroras, and Mohicans, originally drawn from the Oquaga settlement. But by late 1777 eighty percent of his volunteers were either white, or freed black slaves. Only twenty percent were "Indians". Joseph Brant was young and relatively inexperienced at the beginning of the war. And having no great influence or strong alliances among the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations), he could not attract a large number of indigenous followers. [27] Brant was considered an upstart freelancer, and a man not to be trusted.

But to white Loyalists on the New York frontier, Thayendanegea impressed. As the revolution progressed Brant proved to be a great war-chief, brave, innovative and charismatic. He knew what he was about. That appealed to Anthony Westbrook early in the fight. Like other volunteers, Anthony trusted him, was sincerely attached to him, and was willing to go through great hardships with him in order to strike the enemy hard. But it took the British military longer to come up with monetary support. To begin with, Brant received nothing from the government, actually using his own resources and the spoils of battle to keep his corps in the field. Loyalists in Brant's Volunteers were 'associators': They received "issues and rations" from the British authorities, but unlike other Loyalist units, were not paid. And in spite of widespread wooing by many outfits, such as Butler's Rangers, Brant's one hundred, non-indigenous volunteers absolutely refused other service. One British officer thought them totally undisciplined, declaring, "the Devil knows what the scoundrels wou'd be at, I have been 30 years a soldier, but never had so much trouble as with those fellows". [28] The award winning American Historian, Alan Taylor supports this view, suggesting, "They preferred Brant's... spontaneous style over the hierarchy, discipline and steady pay of a standard regiment, even if it meant no pay."[29] No doubt this wild and woolly characterization was true of men such as Ebenezer Allen as we shall see, but it is unknown whether it also applied to Anthony Westbrook. One thing though is clear and significant: Anthony Westbrook resolved to fight for much more than a soldier's pay.

This resolution might have squared him with his conscience, but at the same time it exposed Sara and the family to dire consequences. His political decision would also be Sara's: In the heated atmosphere of the times, a wife's expected loyalty to her husband, once a private commitment, would become a political act if he refused to renounce his loyalty to the king. And the children would be judged guilty by association. All would be considered traitors. Moreover, the family would be split up. Anthony was away fighting, yes, but if twelve-year-old Alexander were left home with Sara, he could be arrested and forced into the rebel army. To avoid this, Anthony may have been forced to take the lad with him with all the attendant dangers of war.

NOTES:

[22] Alexander C. Flick, op cit., pg. 56.

[23] Ibid., pg. 101.

[24] Ibid.

[25] Ibid., pg 109.

[26] Ibid., pg. 110.

[27] Thayendanega was Brant's "Indian" name. In Canajoharie where he grew up, he came to be called Brant's Joseph by his white friends who found that name easier to pronounce. Brant was Joseph's stepfather. Eventually Thayendanega came to be called Joseph Brant's, then Joseph Brant and finally just Brant. Joseph's stepfather was a shaman and wealthy. But to the Haudenosaunee that meant nothing for Joseph. Your status as a male depended not on what your father was but who your mother was. Joseph Brant's mother had no great status. She was not a clan matron and had no power to appoint a hereditary chief. So Thayendanega was a no body. Joseph did get some status from his sister Molly who had married Sir William Johnston but it wouldn't be until he married his third wife, Catharine Croghan that Brant really came up in the world – Catharine had inherited the right to appoint the Tekarihoga, principal Mohawk shaman of the Turtle Clan. Whites usually had no idea of this. Re. Brant, they automatically followed their own prejudices and saw not an upstart who was not to be trusted, but a charismatic and innovative leader to be followed.

[28] Isabel T. Kelsay, op cit., pg. 192.

[29] Alan Taylor, The Divided Ground, Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderlands of the American Revolution, pg. 84–93.

...Doug Massey

NOTES: Peninsula vs Peninsular; Badjeros

I guess an editor is supposed to find mistakes, not make them. From the item last week, Responses re Loyalists and Battle of Waterloo, the third entry "Not Waterloo, but Peninsula War", from John McLeod: The war is called the Peninsular War, not the Peninsula War. and from Elizabeth Robbins: "I know there are problems with mixing up the Niagara Peninsula 1812-14 War and the Napoleonic War in Europe, which is called the Peninsula"r" War. Not "Peninsula". There are many accounts that make the same mistake." Sometimes I learn something new not only once but twice from one newsletter item!

Separately, the naming of Badjeros, Ont., is actually not related to the battle of Badajoz. It was originally spelled Badgerow's, and is named after the first settler, Philip Badgerow, a (non-Loyalist) American. The only reason I knew about Badgerow is that back in the dark ages (early 1980s actually), I was in the reserves. I spent four summers at CFB Borden teaching recruits how to drive army trucks. I got to know the roads up in that area very well, and the funny name Badjeros intrigued me. John McLeod, UE

Where in the World?

Where are Bonnie Schepers, Dr. Gerald Brown and Dr. Peter Moogk?

To participate, submit a photo of yourself in UELAC promotional gear at a place of some note and tell us where it is. If you are a member of a branch, please indicate that as well – send to Jennifer Childs.

Region and Branch Bits

From the UELAC branches, news and events of interest to others.

  • The Loyalists arrival in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution doubled the province's population and today 20 per cent or more of Nova Scotians could have an ancestor who was a United Empire Loyalist.The Loyalists arrival in Nova Scotia after the American Revolution doubled the province's population and today 20 per cent or more of Nova Scotians could have an ancestor who was a United Empire Loyalist. So why no Loyalist Day for Nova Scotia?
  • Celebrating New Brunswick's Loyalist Day in May: escorting head table to dinner!
  • Hamilton Branch help our Remembrance Service at The Art Gallery of Hamilton, beginning with a piper-led parade up the street and into the Gallery of flag bearers, member re-enactors, and members who have come in period clothing. Ten wreaths were placed at the foot of the maquet in remembrance of our ancestors to the area. Colin Brown spoke about his award from France for participation in World War II. Featured speaker Robin McKee, a well-known local historian and President of the Sir John A Macdonald Society, spoke about Sir John's contribution to our country. Fellowship followed over tea, coffee and cookies. Pat Blackburn UE, President, Hamilton Branch
  • Toronto Branch – Diane Reid in particular – organized a celebration for both Toronto and Gov. Simcoe Branches which featured the raising of the Loyalist Flag on the guest flag pole at Queen's Park and remarks by Her Honour, Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Comments by others referenced the Battle of Waterloo in which a former Lieutenant Governor Sir Peregrine Maitland had participated and in which there were several Loyalist connections. A reception followed in a committee room. Photo with Diane Reid, Julia Munro MPP, Her Honour, Doug Grant.
  • Grand River Branch celebrated on Saturday June 20 with a visit to the Waterford Heritage and Agricultural Museum for an afternoon of music and dinner. Photo (click on one of the photos to scroll through them)
  • My Loyalist Day on the 20th will be spent (for the 3rd year) as Lt James Fitzgibbon at the Laura Secord walk. This has been a fabulous event to be involved in. http://www.friendsoflaurasecord.com/ .I was initially involved in the Laura Secord Walk due to my ancestors Rev Gideon Bostwick (a Loyalist preacher of Laura and Thomas Ingersoll) and his son Col Henry Bostwick 1st Norfolk Regiment who knew Laura well as children and later in Upper Canada. Henry commanded Laura's 1/2 brother in the War of 1812. This year, in addition to the walk, I'll be at a tree planting at Brock U. Those old blood ties keep uniting us. Then on Monday I'll be speaking at the Kitchener Rotary luncheon on Brock's leadership so that will be fun too. There's a great deal about Brock leadership that is timeless and very much applicable to modern challenges. Bob Rennie
  • The significance of June 19th Loyalist Day in Ontario. Applies equally well in most provinces, and country-wide.
  • Plaque unveiling at Adolphustown 24 May 2015 by Honorary President Peter Milliken UE and President B. Schepers. Photo.
  • Young family homestead celebrated on Hamilton Mountain. More than 200 years after they settled in their homestead on the central Mountain, Daniel and Elizabeth Young have been memorialized. An interpretive panel highlighting Daniel's service in the War of 1812 and a memorial stone were unveiled Saturday June 13 at Ryckman's Park.
  • If you are near Saint John on Sept 12, plan to visit Loyalist House between 10-4 for "A Celebration of Colonial Fiber Arts & Cookery". Admission charge.
  • One of many Loyalist resource centres across the country – Queen's University in Kingston holds many Loyalist records, such as the digitized Burleigh collection.
  • Congrats to Kathryn Lake Hogan who will be writing a bi-monthly column – In the Land of the Maple Leaf - in the In-Depth Genealogist premiering this July.

From the Twittersphere and Beyond

  • Editorial: Sharing the story of the Black Loyalists with the world. It was a week unlike any other for the tiny but historic community of Birchtown. Last Saturday's celebration of the grand opening of the Black Loyalist Heritage Centre was something few will forget.
  • Black Loyalist Heritage Society's Pin. A gift today from a friend who visited Birchtown Nova Scotia this summer.
  • A commentary about the value and influence of male-female friendships in the political process of the revolutionary period.
  • On June 14, 1793, LG John Graves Simcoe grants the Mohawks, & others of the Six Nations, an official patent to their reserve on the Grand River
  • The visit by theshipHermoine continues with a stop at City Dock, Annapolis, Maryland. For Nicolas Chambon, thejourney to America was a "Magnifique Voyage." Read more.
  • The National Trust for Canada and the Nova Scotia Lighthouse Preservation Society are excited to announce the launch of THIS LIGHTHOUSE MATTERS. This first-of-its-kind crowdfunding competition gives Nova Scotia communities working to save their lighthouses a chance to win cash prizes, raise awareness, and gain support from people across Canada. Canadians can vote and help fund the campaigns of individual lighthouses on the website www.thislighthousematters.ca.
  • The Loyalist Rose was in bloom earlier this week just in time for Loyalist Day in Ontario June 19.
  • Five Ways for 18th Century Reenactors to Improve their Camps from Historically Speaking: The Life and Times of a Historical Reenactor

Additions to the Loyalist Directory

As time permits, we add information to the Loyalist Directory. The latest additions and updates are as follows:

  • Berdan, Albert - from Todd Braisted
  • Betts, Ephraim - from John Betts
  • Betts, Jared - from John Betts
  • Phillips, Jacob - from Guylaine Petrin and David Phillips

Please help us build the directory by contributing more information for it. Contact loyalist.trails@uelac.org for instructions and guidance.

Last Post: Clair Bennett Seeley, UE

In the calm of the early morning, Clair (CB) Seeley passed away peacefully on June 2, 2015 at the Hospice in Renfrew. Clair's passion for sport, coaching and education, commitment to community and love of family will be dearly missed by all, but none more than Esther (McLachlin), his wife of 62 years, and his children Cheryl (Jeff Dillon), Rob (Patricia), Kim (Fred Wijsman) and Ritchie (Liz DeVillers) and his brother Jay Lockerbie (Marjorie). Clair made a lifetime contribution to the public school system as a teacher, principal, superintendent, trustee and director of education. Clair's zest for life, optimism, kindness, gentlemanly ways, and mentorship have left a lasting effect on many.

Clair was a proud member of the Colonel Edward Jessup Branch UELAC, descending from Justice Seeley UE. We looked forward to his attendance at our Charter meetings.

...Myrtle Johnson UE

Queries

Responses re Source of a Segment of a Toronto Map

The map segment seems to be a copy based on a Patent Plans for York township. Most Patent plans are housed at the Archives of Ontario. They record the name of the first patentee for a lot and date of the patents.

The Archives of Ontario now offers many digitized patent plans. They are usually organized by township, so you can search them by township names.

To understand their use, one can read the very useful A.O. guide "From Petition to Patent."

Good luck researching you ancestor in York County. He was not the only Loyalist who moved from Osnabruck to York during that period. Some Osnabruck names also found in Etobicoke are Peter Winters, and William Mattice. As people ran out of land in the Eastern District, the land around the capital became quite attractive.

...Guylaine Petrin


The map comes from the book Pioneering in North York, by Patricia Hart, which is available at various branches of the Toronto Public Library.

There is a lane named after him in the redeveloped Don Mills Shopping Centre – Toronto City documents – refer to page 232 of the book.

If you want really early maps of Etobicoke township, try here.

...Robin McLeod

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